Measuring Up

Thursday, March 27, 2014
brought to you from the heart of Lori

Friends, it is upon us. For this we have planned, taught, tutored, re-taught, prayed, cut out tiny moving pieces, sifted through pages and pages of data, sorted student groups, taught some more, tutored a lot, and re-taught our hearts out. 
I might have cried on this day.

You are amazing. And I often have to remind myself that I am too. Sometimes when you go to professional development with someone like Gretchen Bernabei or Jeff Anderson or Rich Allen, it's so tempting to think that, "geez...their classrooms must be pure magic ALL of the time." If you're a faithful reader of our blog [we love you], I am here to tell you that Suz and I are just as fallible and many times--if we're being honest--just as frustrated as you. It's so easy to become discouraged when you just need your kids to show you that they know it, but instead they are simply over it. So what's the measure of my success in this--our final hour, as it were?

These are the moments where I know I measure up...
[insert short girl joke about measuring up next to Suz]
The measure of my success cannot be solely tied to a particular set of numbers. Instead, it must be tied to each and every name on that list to whom those numbers belong. It must be tied to their growth as an individual, and not necessarily whether or not they met standard. My success is tied to my answer to this critical question:
  • Are they better now than when they came to me? [And friends...better is different for every kid.]
And I must ask myself this question about both students and teachers. The measure of my success is not solely tied to student data, but also the teachers to whom that data belongs. This has been a year of growth, collaboration, and rigorous planning. Regardless of data, the measure of my success is in a friendly little cluster of teachers in D-hall. These teachers have planned in a way that would make any department anywhere envious! If ever a teacher has faltered, the others are there to quickly pick up the slack. Their teaching has become stronger through the realization that this job requires much more than a single person on a mission to educate 160 children. The measure of their success lies in the professional community that will undoubtedly continue to infiltrate the entire department. 

The measure of my success is in every Curly Classroom page view, every teacher who has come away with a new strategy or lesson, every relationship built upon our common educational philosophies. 

And you, my friend. The measure of your success lies in your willingness to take a risk, to do something different, to seek out a new way. You are successful because you fight against packets and against the ordinary. You, my friend, are extraordinary. 

Finish your week strong. Rest up. Take a deep breath. Fill your coffee cup. And when you open that TA manual next week, you will know that the people who wrote it have no idea how to truly define the measure of your success. 

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